Special Communication Language and Literacy bulletin

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Early years bulletin

16 January 2023


The first CLL bulletin of 2023 is focussing on the Best Start Speech, Language and Communication Programme which was originally a targeted speech and language programme delivered by the Speech and Language Therapy Team and used by 11 settings in Portsmouth last year. Now we can bring the Best Start Programme to everyone in our Early Years community in Portsmouth!

If you came to our autumn term SENCO Network Cluster, you will have heard about the Best Start Programme and the first 2 top tips for talking - why face to face communication is important and how sharing a book can add so much value to a child's vocabulary and expressive and communicative skill levels.

We will be sharing all of the 10 top tips for talking through our SENCO clusters this academic year and next. But you can access all 10 now, through this bulletin.


The advice and guidance in the Best Start training, which takes the form of 10 top tips, is relevant for all children and really forms best practice in Communication and Language for all practitioners to use. It is most effective when ALL practitioners in the setting have an understanding of the top tips and are using them on a daily basis with all children. So consider how you can upskill your entire team to deliver the tips. Email eyinclusion@portsmouthcc.gov.uk if you want further guidance on the Best Start top tips for talking and training.


To take part in the Best Start Programme, there is a free 2 hour online training opportunity that you can access here. The SALT team advise that all practitioners in Early Years settings access this free training as it will give an overview of Best Start and the good practice we can all use to support speech, language and communication needs. This document has been designed by the SALT team to help you to set up and access an elearning account to undertake this free training.


You can view all of the 10 top tips in their poster format on our Top Tips for Talking Toolkit.

The posters are aimed primarily at parents as they include QR code links to short video clips which practically demonstrate how the top tip works in real life with your child. Please consider how you can share the top tips with parents (through monthly newsletters, on your websites, as regular communication and language updates, targeted at specific families to support communication and language development etc).

So to support your chattering children, your playful practitioners and be pro-active with your parents, follow the Best Start 10 top tips for talking and make sure everyone is communicating in these ways:

Tip 1 - Face to Face

Tip 2 - Share a book

Tip 3- Commenting

Tip 4 - Everyday routines

Tip 5 - Follow the child's lead

Tip 6 - Copy, repeat, Imitate

Tip 7 - Label everything

Tip 8 - Expand your language

Tip 9 - Interpret and watch                                                       

Tip 10 - Wait and listen

Any questions about the content of this email? Get in touch